Primary-Secondary Transition

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    • 00:01

      KEITH TOPPING: I'm Keith Topping, the Professorof Social and Educational Research from the Universityof Dundee in Scotland.And I'm here to tell you a little bit about my paperthat was in Improving Schools Journal, aboutprimary-secondary transition, and the differencesbetween teachers' perceptions and children's perceptions

    • 00:25

      KEITH TOPPING [continued]: of this important issue.This Journal was published in 2011, Volume 14, Number 3,pages 268 to 285.So transition from primary school to secondary schoolis an important topic.

    • 00:46

      KEITH TOPPING [continued]: But it's been quite neglected.And that, of course, is why I wasinterested in doing this research.For this review, we searched several major databases.We searched the Education Research Information Center,or ERIC.We searched the Social Science Citation Index,

    • 01:07

      KEITH TOPPING [continued]: and we also searched Scopus.And we used fairly broad search terms-- transition,or the term transfer, and also primary and secondary,or elementary and high.

    • 01:29

      KEITH TOPPING [continued]: Because, of course, we wanted to reach papersthat were published anywhere in the world.So we were keen to include the American versionsof these words also.We found 325 studies.Of these, it was fairly clear from the abstract

    • 01:50

      KEITH TOPPING [continued]: that some of them were not suitable.We eventually read 127 papers in full.Of these 127 papers, we eventuallyfound 88 that were selected for inclusionbecause they included substantive data related

    • 02:12

      KEITH TOPPING [continued]: to transition.And that's important.We weren't interested in opinions.We weren't interested in that kind of work.We weren't interested in theory.What we wanted was empirical data.Then the papers were read many times,and consistencies and inconsistencies between them

    • 02:34

      KEITH TOPPING [continued]: noted.And emerging themes, we used to organize the review,and these themes became consolidated as the papers wereread again and again.But the review itself was a systematic narrative review.It wasn't a meta analysis.

    • 02:55

      KEITH TOPPING [continued]: A meta analysis is where papers are synthesizedby their quantitative outcomes.And a meta analysis was not really possible of these papersat this time.So what were the results?Well, the teachers' perspective and the child's perspective

    • 03:16

      KEITH TOPPING [continued]: were very different, as I've already said.And this was really the main surprise.Teachers were principally concerned with attainment,whereas children were principallyconcerned with social-emotional issues,such as peer relationships, bullying, self-esteem,

    • 03:40

      KEITH TOPPING [continued]: and the presence or absence of external support networks.Whereas teacher, on the other hand,were concerned with the attainment dip on entryto secondary school, with curriculum problems,with school strategies to ameliorate these.And with special groups of pupils in the school

    • 04:02

      KEITH TOPPING [continued]: and children with disability.The secondary school was a problemfor virtually all children at first.However, after a term, many childrenhad adjusted, although 40% were still struggling a year later.

    • 04:24

      KEITH TOPPING [continued]: But 60% had adjusted.The difficulty of adjustment was greater for childrenfrom homes in poverty or from ethnic minorities,particularly where parental encouragement was lacking.The quality of the evidence was critiqued.

    • 04:48

      KEITH TOPPING [continued]: And it has to be said that studies were mostlysmall scale.Few of them had a control group.And in no study were the groups randomly allocated.A case study was the most common design.And questionnaires and interviewswere the most common measurement instruments.

    • 05:10

      KEITH TOPPING [continued]: A few studies were longitudinal, but in general, studiesdid not include follow-up.So what were our conclusions?Well, schools have developed administrative andorganizational systems to ease the transition processwith the relation to academic problems,

    • 05:32

      KEITH TOPPING [continued]: but children, and also parents, are typicallymore concerned with personal and social issues.And teachers, on the other hand, seemto be preoccupied with institutional initiatives,while children and parents are much more concerned

    • 05:52

      KEITH TOPPING [continued]: with the needs of the individual.So we have this situation where teachersfeel as if they're certainly trying to do somethingabout transition, but as far as parents and childrenare concerned, they're doing the wrong things.Parents and children may also tendto be much more preoccupied with the here and now,

    • 06:15

      KEITH TOPPING [continued]: while teachers take a longer term view.In terms of specific initiatives to foster positive transition,the results are very mixed.Some of them work and some of them do not.And even those that do work may notwork when replicated on a larger scale,

    • 06:36

      KEITH TOPPING [continued]: owing to poorer implementation at that larger scale.So that was a glimpse into the contentsof this paper, which, of course, containsmuch more detail than this.I think it's been highly read because in the past,researchers have been preoccupiedwith either the teachers' view or the pupils view.

    • 06:59

      KEITH TOPPING [continued]: No one has put them together and compared them before.For the future, obviously, we needto update this review, and hopefully the quality,as well as the quantity of research will have improved.I encourage you to read the full paper.Thank you for watching.

    • 07:19

      KEITH TOPPING [continued]: Bye for now.

Primary-Secondary Transition

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Professor Keith Topping explores the issues that occur for both students and teachers during the transition from primary to secondary school.

Primary-Secondary Transition

Professor Keith Topping explores the issues that occur for both students and teachers during the transition from primary to secondary school.

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